(Roof and Courtyard)
on the roof and courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union
|10:45PM||Q&A with director Michael Tully and some cast members|
Ping Pong Summer (Michael Tully | 92 min.)
It is the summer of 1985. Teens all over the country think Run DMC is totally bitchin’. On the soft drink line, a “Suicide” (a dash of every soda) is the most popular carbonated beverage. Cliques are very real and ping pong is the most fly thing ever. Rad Miracle (Marcello Conte), a dweeby 13-year-old white boy, arrives with his family in Ocean City, Maryland, and is ready to take it all in.
With Ping Pong Summer, writer/director Michael Tully (Septien) evokes vibrant childhood memories of embarrassing parents, first crushes, bullies, and the adolescent sense of limitless possibility. For Rad, those possibilities include becoming a gnarly ping pong player and a fly breakdancer. But it isn’t until Teddy (Myles Massey), an equally dorky vacationer, shows Rad the local FunHub – stuffed with arcade games, slushies, and ping pong – that Rad finally begins to emerge from his shell. With $20 (gifted by mom), a ping pong buddy and the attention of a pretty girl, he is stoked to take on the world to the max. But when local bully Lyle Ace (Joseph McCaughtry) shows up with his dipstick crony demanding amends for eyeing his girl and playing at his table, things don’t just get real…they get hellacious.
From the opening scene, Ping Pong Summer proves itself an intelligent, sincere unadulterated throwback. Each character seems carved out of a comic book version of 80’s coming-of-age movies thrown into an alternate dimension where Susan Sarandon serves as a Mr. Miyagi ping pong sensei named Randi Jammer. Openly flaunting its nostalgia with illustrated titles, freeze frames, neon-hued set decoration and tubular outfits, Ping Pong Summer is a candy-coated memory piece. The plot progresses like that of its ancestors, but along the way Tully successfully mines the tropes for humor, awkwardness, in-jokes, and references. With everything thrown in it tastes like a “Suicide,” the most spazzed-out drink on the planet.
P.S. You better believe a ping pong party is following the screening. Fer shur.
After his directorial debut, Cocaine Angel, world-premiered at the 2006 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Michael Tully was named one of Filmmaker magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film." His followup film, Silver Jew, world-premiered at the 2007 SXSW Film Festival. In 2011, he wrote, directed, and acted in Septien, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Since 2008, he has been the head writer/editor of HammerToNail.com, a website devoted to championing ambitious cinema.